Journalists from some of the most renowned publications have indirectly contributed greatly to Democratic candidates, in a potential conflict of interest, due to being unionized, according to reports Tuesday.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has contributed to a list of Democrats over the years. It is also the biggest union thus far to endorse Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders at 700,000 members. Its political contributions to Sanders might pose a conflict of interest since it represents many print and broadcast journalists.
“It’s a real problem for those who cover politics,” Society of Professional Journalists Member Fred Brown told Politico. “I’m pretty liberal myself, and I voted for McGovern, but I did not like the idea of a union that represented reporters saying we are endorsing a particular candidate. That just does not work for me with the idea of a reporter keeping a distance and at least trying to live up to the idea we should be impartial.”
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post are among the many publications with unionized reporters. The CWA has also contributed to other Democrats such as Rep. [crscore]Nancy Pelosi[/crscore], Sen. [crscore]Elizabeth Warren[/crscore], Rep. [crscore]James Clyburn[/crscore], Rep. [crscore]Keith Ellison[/crscore] and Rep. [crscore]Steny Hoyer[/crscore]. The union has made $43,240,737 in political contributions since 1990, according to OpenSecrets.
CWA officially announced Dec. 17 its endorsement of Sanders. The announcement was somewhat expected as Former CWA President Larry Cohen already decided to back him. Cohen has seen been leading the union coalition Labor for Bernie, which consist mostly of local unions.
Sanders has done a lot to advance issues important to organized labor and looked to be a union favorite early on. He introduced a bill in July designed to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and advocated for mandatory union dues. He quickly gained support, but his primary rival former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton eventually pulled ahead with national unions.
Despite Sanders being more aligned with the labor movement, some union leaders have expressed doubt on whether he is electable. Clinton won her biggest union endorsement Nov. 17 from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). She has also been backed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and the American Federation of Teachers among others.
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